Stephen Fry’s take on iPad, Adobe’s John Warnock on Aesthetics and technology

Jan 30th, 2010 | By | Category: This morning's reading

Morning Reading, selected articles of interest from various publications.

Stephen Fry: why the Apple iPad is here to stay –
There are many issues you could have with the iPad. No multitasking, still no Adobe Flash. No camera, no GPS. They all fall away the minute you use it. I cannot emphasise enough this point: “Hold your judgment until you’ve spent five minutes with it.” No YouTube film, no promotional video, no keynote address, no list of features can even hint at the extraordinary feeling you get from actually using and interacting with one of these magical objects. […]
The moment you experience it in your hands, you know this is class. This is a different order of experience. The speed, the responsiveness, the smooth glide of it, the richness and detail of the display, the heft in your hand, the rightness of the actions and gestures that you employ, untutored and instinctively, it’s not just a scaled up iPhone or a scaled-down multitouch enhanced laptop – it is a whole new kind of device. And it will change so much. Newspapers, magazines, literature, academic textbooks, brochures, fliers and pamphlets are going to be transformed (poor Kindle).
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Roger’s comment: A refreshingly well-written appreciation of the Apple iPad, its desirability and potential. The article is a delight to read.

Adobe Co-founder John Warnock on the Competitive Advantages of Aesthetics and the ‘Right’ Technology
When Acrobat was announced, the world didn’t get it. They didn’t understand how important sending documents around electronically was going to be.
We met with [someone from] the Gartner Group, who said, “This is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard in my life.” But I said, “No, people have been trying to figure out universal document formats for decades, and no one has succeeded. The reason we can succeed is that we don’t have to ask anybody’s permission. No one has to do any development. We can capture the PostScript files and convert any PostScript file into a PDF file. And no one has to say this is a good idea or a bad idea. We can just make it a fait accompli.” […]

I’ve thought about calling him [note: Steve Jobs, re: Flash on iPhone] and saying, “Steve, you know, at this point you want might to engage the partnership again.” Because I think otherwise he is going to get some competitive pressures from outside that he is not going to like.
He has never been great at hitting that middle ground [between] openness and proprietary [products]. He has always seemed to lean to the proprietary side, to want to own everything. I think this is one case where he probably would do better if he didn’t do that.
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Lina’s comment: Ironic how J.Warnock potentially “makes the case” for iPad (as a combination of aesthetics & right technology), yet Flash is not supported by iPad either…He may have to call Steve Jobs now.

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